November 22, 2011

November 22, 2011
Safer Sex as the Bolder Choice

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Tuesday and I hope your week is off to a safe and great start. It is another busy week for Dab the AIDS Bear and me as we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving in a couple of days.

Now you often hear me talk about safer sex and I recently read some interesting information concerning testosterone and safe sex that I wold like to share with you today.

Introduction.  Higher testosterone (T) is tied to risk-taking, especially in financial domains but also in health domains relevant to acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, safer sex constructs could themselves carry the possibility of social risk due to sexual stigma or embarrassment, or could involve boldness or confidence because they could represent status displays of frequent sexual activity.

Aim.  To determine how T and behaviorally relevant attitudes about sexual risk taking are linked, to better understand biopsychosocial aspects of sexual health related to STIs.

Methods.  In 78 first year male college students, we examined correlations between salivary T and behaviorally relevant safer sex attitudes assessed via questionnaires.

Main Outcome Measures.  T, via saliva; safer sex attitudes, via a composite and the University of California, Los Angeles Multidimensional Condom Attitudes Scale (MCAS).

Results.  Higher T was significantly correlated with higher scores on the following: safer sex likelihood composite, r(73) = 0.33, P = 0.003; the MCAS safer sex resilience, r(32) = 0.36, P = 0.037; and the MCAS condom purchase comfort, r(32) = 0.37, P = 0.031. Associations between T and safer sex likelihood and resilience were still robust after controlling for potential confounds, though the association between T and purchase comfort diminished to a trend.

Conclusions.  Higher T was positively linked with safer sex attitudes, especially those most closely tied to STI risk avoidance. Thus, future research and interventions for STI prevention should address the possibility that safer sex may be paradoxically perceived as a bold or risky choice even as it decreases STI risk. van Anders SM, Goldey KL, Conley TD, Snipes DJ, and Patel DA. Safer sex as the bolder choice: Testosterone is positively correlated with safer sex behaviorally relevant attitudes in young men.

It all boils down to every one regardless of known HIV status to have safer sex every time.

Hope you have a great Tuesday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab